Sunday, December 13, 2009

Marijuana Use

Some people mistakenly believe that “everybody's doing it” and use that as an excuse to start using marijuana themselves. Well, they need to check the facts, because that’s just not true. According to a 2008 survey, called Monitoring the Future, about 6 percent of 8th-graders, 14 percent of 10th-graders, and 19 percent of 12th-graders had used marijuana in the month before the survey. In fact, marijuana use declined from the late 1990s through 2007, with a decrease in past-year use of more than 20 percent in all three grades combined from 2000 to 2007. Unfortunately, this trend appears to be slowing, and marijuana use remains at unacceptably high levels, as the most commonly used illegal drug.

While most marijuana smokers do not go on to use other drugs, long-term studies of high school students show that few young people use other illegal drugs without first trying marijuana. For example, the risk of using cocaine is much greater for those who have tried marijuana than for those who have never tried it. Using marijuana puts children and teens in contact with people who are users and sellers of other drugs. So, a marijuana user is more likely to be exposed to and urged to try other drugs. The effects of marijuana on the brain of adolescents—still a work in progress—may also affect their likelihood of using other drugs as they get older. Animal studies suggest this to be true, but it is not yet demonstrated in people.

Researchers are testing different ways to help marijuana users abstain from drug use. Currently, no medications exist for treating marijuana addiction. Treatment programs focus on behavioral therapies. A number of programs are designed specifically to help teenagers who are abusers.

Clearbrook Treatment Centers understand the difficulties people have with understanding marijuana drug abuse. Since 1972, the renowned Clearbrook Treatment Centers have been providing effective treatment programs for adults and adolescents who suffer from alcoholism and/or chemical dependency. Clearbrook’s rehabilitation program is based upon the belief that alcoholism and chemical dependency is a primary disease and that the suffering addict and his or her family members deserve immediate help.

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